By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director

H.791 eliminates the use of toxic pesticides on playgrounds and anywhere that children learn and play!

H.792 takes all glyphosate-containing herbicides (including Monsanto’s Roundup) off hardware store shelves and ends consumer use of this toxic biocide!

To be clear, both of these bills face an uphill battle before passage and aren’t even guaranteed to be voted on by the full legislature, but the fact that Agriculture committee has approved these bills is HUGE and is a testament to the enormous grassroots support and emerging science that tells us we must do something to reduce the use of glyphosate and other toxic pesticides.

We at NOFA/Mass heartily thank Representative Carmine Gentile for State Representative, 13th Middlesex District, the lead sponsor on both of these bills. He filed these bills after hearing from a number of constituents about glyphosate and other toxic pesticides. Democracy works if we work it!

We are extremely grateful to Rep. Smitty Pignatelli (pictured in the attached photo), who listened intently that day in November, as advocates shared more than 5 hours of passionate testimony in support of state action to reduce pesticides use. These bills would not have passed without Rep. Smitty’s bold leadership. Thank you, Rep. Smitty!

And thank YOU, to everyone who heard our call to action and showed up to fill up that hearing room on Nov. 12th and to everyone who has contacted their legislators to make their voices heard on these issues. Let us take a moment to CELEBRATE this (intermediate) victory and continue with renewed momentum!

The packed hearing room on November 12, 2019 reflected strong
public pressure to pass the presented bills

We will want to share our gratitude with legislators and provide the positive reinforcement they will need in order to overcome the objections of the chemical industry and bring these bills to a full vote before the session ends on July 31st.

Side note: Coincidentally (?), this news comes just 1 day after we read that Bayer/Monsanto is reportedly considering ending sales of glyphosate to private users, amid the mounting (thousands of) lawsuits connecting the pesticide to cancer. Article: http://bit.ly/bayer013020 One way or another, we are tipping scales toward a less toxic future!

If you are not already on our email list, please sign up for action alerts to help keep these bills moving.  Select “Upcoming Events and Action Alerts” and “Organic Policy Alerts”.

NOFA/Mass has been educating and organizing consistently on issues related to GMO foods and related pesticides for more than 20 years. We are so happy to see progress and are immensely grateful to the expanding coalition of organizations in support of action to reduce the need for and use of toxic pesticides on Massachusetts:

Adrian’s Atrium, Berkshire Grown, Beyond Pesticides, Bionutrient Food Association, Boston Organics, Caretaker Farm, Climate Action Now MA, Concerned Citizens of Franklin County, Conservation Law Foundation, Earthjustice, Extinction Rebellion Western MA, Friends of the Earth U.S., Friends of Bees / Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, Full Circle Earth, Gardening the Community, Global Environmental Options, Great Barrington Agricultural Commission, GreeNA, GreenCAPE, Island Grown, The Ivory Silo Seed Project, Landscape Interactions, Living Earth Natural Food Market and Cafe, Marion Institute, Mass Sierra Club, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), Meadowscaping for Biodiversity: Healing the environment through education, Organic Consumers Association, POCCA Cape Cod, Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening, Red Fire Farm, RESTORE: The North Woods, Round the Bend Farm, Savvy Women’s Alliance, Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, Sustainable Shrewsbury Citizens Network, The Enviro Show, The New Garden Society, Toxics Action Center,
Trillium Asset Management Corp, WMassBees

*EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS* to Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Green Tea Party and Regeneration Massachusetts for all your hard work in Western Mass, helping to educate and mobilize Rep. Smitty and his constituents on the need to take action on pesticides!

Read this related article from Don Sutherland for details on the bill mentioned above.